Providing Free Swim Lessons through local YMCA

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Formal swim lessons can significantly reduce the likelihood of drowning, and Preferred Mutual upholds that education is the first step in prevention.

The Preferred Foundation, a corporate giving entity of Preferred Mutual Insurance Company, is partnering with the Norwich YMCA in 2015 to provide free swim lessons to selected first graders in Chenango County. The swim sessions will begin in early May and continue through the end of the year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 10 people die every day as a result of accidental drowning. Furthermore, children under 14 years of age account for one in five drowning fatalities. However, formal swim lessons can significantly reduce the likelihood of drowning, and the mutual insurance company upholds that education is the first step in prevention.

The swim program will provide every 1st grade student in Norwich, Oxford, and Unadilla Valley schools with the opportunity for one free swim lesson session. Each session is 8 weeks in duration, and there are 6 different regularly scheduled sessions throughout the year to choose from. Each eligible student will receive a ticket that they can redeem at the Norwich YMCA to take swim lessons at no cost to their family.

"We're very excited to partner with local school districts and Preferred Mutual Insurance to provide awareness, education, and life safety skills through swimming to our community youth," said Jamey Mullen, Executive Director of the Norwich YMCA.

Preferred Mutual Insurance Company provides property and casualty insurance coverage to more than 235,000 individual and business customers through a network of more than 450 independent agents throughout New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The mutual insurance company, in business since 1896, employs more than 270 employees and is headquartered in New Berlin, New York. The company is rated "A" for excellent through A.M. Best.

The Norwich YMCA is one of Chenango County's largest charitable organizations. The nonprofit provides community programs and services to a robust membership base of 3,400 members and over 10,000 community program participants. The Norwich YMCA employs approximately 112 employees and has been operating in Chenango County since 1862.

For more information please contact the Norwich Family YMCA at 607-336-9622.

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